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For Immediate Release

MacKenzie Scott Provides Easterseals South Florida with Transformational Gift

December 15, 2020

Media Contact:
Roxanne Vogel
(954) 529-0078

MacKenzie Scott Provides Easterseals South Florida with Transformational Gift To Support Their Services

Support Provided to 21 Easterseals Affiliates Across the Country and to the Organization’s National Office

 (December 15, 2020), (MIAMI, FLORIDA) – Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced today that she has made an unrestricted transformational gift to Easterseals South Florida. Easterseals South Florida is one of 22 Easterseals Affiliates from across the country to benefit from Scott’s philanthropy, in addition to its National Office, to support life-changing services and powerful advocacy for the one in four Americans living with disability today. These gifts to Easterseals National Office and affiliates are part of 384 gifts that Scott has made to nonprofits across the country this week, totaling an astonishing $4.15 Billion. Amongst the 384 recipient organizations, we are proud to stand alongside the four other beneficiaries serving our shared South Florida community.

Scott signed the Giving Pledge in 2019 and has since donated to nearly 500 nonprofits working in areas of interest to her, from racial justice and LGBTQ equality to climate change and global health.  These recent beneficiaries are organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic. All beneficiaries have been selected, Scott says, for their leadership’s “track record of effective management and significant impact in their areas of expertise.”  Scott continues, “I gave each organization a contribution and encouraged them to spend it on whatever they believe best serves their efforts.” 

Easterseals South Florida, a member of the Easterseals national Network, has been serving families in South Florida for nearly 80 years. Our mission is to provide exceptional services, education, and outreach so that people living with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. We want every child in our Head Start, early education, and special education programs to reach his/her full potential and every adult living with Alzheimer’s or other memory disorder—and their caregivers--to live the fullest and most dignified life possible.

When a gift such as the one from Ms. Scott comes at the end of our most challenging year in memory, it takes a moment to really sink in.  Knowing how much good the agency does and that so much more is now possible, is both inspiring and humbling”, said Easterseals South Florida President and CEO, Loreen Chant. 

Having worked closely with Easterseals South Florida’s leadership and my colleagues on the board to steer the agency through the programmatic and financial challenges from the pandemic, this unexpected opportunity is so energizing. Never has our work felt more meaningful. Having new, unrestricted resources to invest in growing our impact will directly benefit families and people living with disabilities in our South Florida community,” shares Eric J. Vainder, Chairman, Easterseals South Florida Board of Directors and Senior Managing Director, Northern Trust.  

Easterseals, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit services providers and advocates for people with disabilities, is committed to advancing access to and equity in healthcare, employment, and education for children and adults with disabilities including veterans and seniors, as well as their families and caregivers.  Its national network of Affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5 million people annually through high-quality programs including early intervention; autism services; medical rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and speech therapies; workforce development; behavioral health services; adult day services, and much more. 

Wealthy individuals including Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin have also signed the Giving Pledge, a project that encourages billionaires to promise to give away at least half of their wealth throughout their lifetimes. 

Ms. Scott asked a team of nonprofit advisers to help her identify organizations that have directly helped marginalized groups.  “I began work to complete my pledge with the belief that my life had yielded two assets that could be of particular value to others: the money these systems helped deliver to me, and a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions.  The work of giving away more than half of my fortune will last for years,” she said. 

She added, “I recommend Easterseals and the other organizations I’ve supported to anyone similarly excited by the idea of empowering leaders well-positioned to accelerate progress. Every one of them is tackling complex challenges that will require sustained effort over many years, while simultaneously addressing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every one of them would benefit from more allies looking to share wealth of all types and sizes, including money, volunteer time, supplies, advocacy, publicity, networks and relationships, collaboration, encouragement, and trust.”

About Easterseals South Florida

Easterseals South Florida, the indispensable resource for more than 1,700 families in South Florida, is proud to have served people and families challenged by disabilities and disadvantages for more than 77 years. Easterseals is responsive to the needs of each community, helping to overcome barriers that frequently hinder access to high quality services for the families they serve.  They want every child to reach his/her full potential and every adult living with Alzheimer’s to live the fullest and most dignified life possible.  Easterseals provides special education programs for children ages birth to 22 years old, Head Start programs, Alzheimer’s day care and in-home respite services. www.easterseals.com/southflorida/

About Easterseals National and its Affiliate Network

Driven by its purpose to change the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, including veterans and seniors, as well as their families and communities for more than 100 years.  Together, its national network of Affiliates serves 1.5 million people annually through high-quality services and powerful advocacy.  Its services include early intervention; autism services; medical rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and speech therapies; behavioral health; workforce development; adult day programs; and more.  In schools, workplaces, and communities, Easterseals is fostering environments where everyone is included and valued – making a real and positive impact on us all.  Join us in ensuring that everyone – regardless of age or ability – is 100% included and 100% empowered to fully participate in life.  Learn more at www.easterseals.com

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